Governor Inslee stubbornly refuses to call a legislative special session to help the businesses his decisions have closed.
It is Day 262 since the Governor Jay Inslee issued his first “emergency order” related to the COVID-19 crisis, and he still stubbornly refuses to call a special session of the legislature to get some outside help for his failing policies. Even though both chambers of the legislature are dominated by his own party, the governor apparently believes he cannot control or trust the decisions which might be made by the people’s elected lawmakers. Republicans legislators, who recognized the oncoming economic disaster early and have been calling for a special session to address the state’s deficit problem since April, have again expressed frustration with the governor’s refusal to listen to any idea not coming from the liberal special interests that fund his campaign and control his office. As Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) noted, the governor’s partisan actions are responsible for many people not following his health restrictions. “There would likely be far more widespread support for safety measures if they weren’t being dictated to us by one man,” Schoesler stated. The Senator also noted that the governor’s unilateral decisions are causing significant harm to many citizens. “We must do everything possible to protect people’s lives, but also protect their ability to provide for their families,” Schoesler said. “Many can’t feed their children. We are seeing an increase in suicides as well as more deaths from the virus. Unemployment and financial ruin are driving that desperation.” Inslee’s answers to these valid concerns are at the end of the linked story, and were perhaps the most arrogant comments Shift writers have seen from a taxpayer-funded PR person, this one previously a reporter and should know better than to act like he has been elected to anything. (Columbia Basin Herald)
What was Governor Inslee’s Director of the Department of Commerce focused on the evening her boss once again shut down thousands of Washington State businesses? She was trying to avenge a 10% drubbing she took from Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers in the 2018 election. Governor Inslee announced Sunday that he was again shutting down thousands of businesses and putting hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians out of work during the holidays, prompting Lisa Brown, the head of the state agency charged with assisting businesses, to take to Twitter to condemn Congresswomen McMorris Rodgers for standing up for employers and workers. Apparently Director Brown is still reeling from her 30,000-vote loss to McMorris Rodgers in 2018. Totally absent from any of Director Brown’s twitter accounts are any mention of what the state plans to do to help the thousands of businesses that will be closed due to the governor’s latest statewide shutdown of businesses. Maybe Director Brown should prove critics like McMorris Rodgers wrong by doing something constructive and convince her boss to call a special session of the legislature to help the businesses and working families which have once again taken the financial hit due to his failure to protect the state (which Inslee’s campaign ads said he was doing). (Lisa Brown’s personal Twitter Account, KXLY, Secretary of State 2018 vote tabulations, Lisa Brown’s Department of Commerce Twitter account, and Shift)
Due to the dysfunction at the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD), many Washington residents are just being told now that they must repay jobless benefits they received last Spring or risk having their future wages garnished. In the Inslee Administration’s latest insult to workers, many people who lost their jobs due to Governor Inslee’s first round of emergency orders are being told they must return thousands of dollars because the ESD overpaid their benefits. Since most of these workers likely used the money to feed their families and pay for supplies to educate their children, they do not have the money available to pay for the state’s mistakes. Rubbing salt even deeper into the Inslee-inflicted wounds, many of these workers were just laid off again, due to Governor Inslee’s latest restrictions on businesses. An ESD spokesman said that the department has stopped sending these notices and that many people can receive new payments if they once again go through the hassle of applying for benefits, and hope the department doesn’t just allow hackers to steal their identities and money (again). (Seattle Times)
Governor Inslee’s Administration has once again opened its “tattle-tale” hotline so residents can draw state enforcement officials’ attention to businesses that fail to follow the governor’s unscientific mandates. Residents are encouraged to pretend they are in the Orwell novel “1984,” and inform the state of any possible violators. (KHQ-TV)
Pierce County Prosecutor Mary Robnett is the latest public official to have tested positive for COVID-19. Robnett began to feel ill on Saturday morning, and was tested by noon. She found out on Monday that she had been infected and has been working from home. The prosecuting attorney said she will work remotely at least until November 24th. (News Tribune)
Monroe School District 1st grade teachers risk being fired if they fail to show up to work on Tuesday. Despite approval from nearly all health officials, the Monroe Education Association has failed to reach an agreement with the district over resuming hybrid in-person instruction for 1st graders. The district’s superintendent sent a letter on Monday informing the teachers that if they fail to comply with the terms of their contract it “may result in disciplinary actions up to and including termination.” (Everett Herald)
A Seattle restaurateur says data does not support Governor Inslee’s decision to shut down his industry once again and place thousands of workers out of work during the holidays. Chad Mackay, CEO of Fire and Vine Hospitality (which owns El Gaucho), said “contact tracing that was done showed that less than half a percent of infections were contact traced back to restaurants.” Mackay expressed frustration with the Inslee Administration for failing to work with the hospitality industry before imposing the governor’s latest round of job-killing restrictions. (MyNorthwest)
Yakima and Kittitas county commissioners are discussing how they can fight back against Governor Inslee’s attest round of restrictions on businesses. Yakima County Commissioner-elect Amanda McKinney said she is aware of many businesses that plan to fight back. McKinney stated, “We are definitely going to be talking about how to pursue this because it is very clear that from the message we are getting that people are very upset about this.” Kittitas County Commissioner Cory Wright said, “These new orders issued by the governor only set back the collective local work we have done and firmly demonstrate that locally controlled response is the best response.” (Yakima Herald)
Representative Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda) said the state has made some improvements in stopping future large wildfires, but more needs to be done. Kretz said, “I think we’ve made some progress but we’ve got millions of acres to treat, a lot of what we’ve seen this year has been rangeland fires. I guess the Governor said that we probably can’t go out and mow all of that, but for thousands of years we have been grazing it, and I think we should be looking at similar ideas of reducing fuels.” Kretz recommends that the state should allow more grazing to reduce the amount of dry grass that provides fuel for the fires. (Pacific Northwest AG Network)
Shift Quick Take
(Click on link to read story)
Governor Inslee has been quick to take credit for random reductions in the spread of the coronavirus over the past eight months, so now it’s time he actually takes responsibility for the current increase, and the loss of wages for thousands of Washington residents during the holiday season. Just a couple of weeks ago, Inslee’s vapid re-election campaign was avoiding discussion of his mistakes in office by bragging that the governor’s policies were keeping Washington safe. Yet yesterday, the governor took time away applying for any “green” job in the Biden Administration to announce he has again shut down restaurants, bars, fitness centers, bowling allies, theaters, and indoor gatherings, due to the record level of new coronavirus cases under his watchful eye. Workers from these jobs will soon be joining thousands of others applying for unemployment benefits, just a week after Washington State led the nation in new unemployment claims. Since the governor has failed to include other people in his partisan decision-making, the increase in COVID-19 cases and the new round of job losses are fully his responsibility. But you won’t hear that from him. (Shift Quick Take)
“Seattle Democrat Mayor Jenny Durkan has been trying for years to solve the Seattle homelessness problem which she and her far-Left City Council, and the left-leaning Seattle City Mayors and City Councils before them, have created. Unfortunately for the taxpayers of Seattle, they are going end up footing the bill for the latest, Durkan-inspired, $5.4 million cleanup effort.” (Shift Article)
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